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Restraining orders in Georgia

The purpose of obtaining a domestic violence restraining order is to provide protection to men or women who are subjected to abuse from another family member or a partner. These restraining orders can first be obtained on an ex parte basis, which means if sufficient grounds exist on the face of the application, the court may issue the order on a temporary and emergency basis until a hearing may be set.

Through an ex parte order, the court may issue such protections as necessitated by the person's circumstances. Protections may include prohibitions from the abuser coming within a certain distance of a person's home or work, communicating directly or through third parties, preventing the person from abusing, stalking, conducting surveillance or harassing the victim and other such necessary protections. The abuser may also be ordered out of a shared home.

Upon receiving an ex parte order, the victim will then need to have a copy of the ex parte order as well as a summons for the court hearing the court will have scheduled served on the abuser. Service can be effected by using the sheriff's department. Following service, the process server will need to file an affidavit of service so the court is aware the other person received notice of the court's order. At the hearing, both parties may present evidence regarding the order. If the court determines it is necessary to do so, the court may extend the order permanently or for a set time period.

Restraining orders serve the dual purpose of notifying the other person to stay away as well as to provide a basis for legal enforcement in the event the order is violated. Those who need to obtain a restraining order may want to talk to a family law attorney for assistance with the information to include in the application.

Source: Women's Law, "How can a family violence protective order help me?", December 31, 2014

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